A town with as storied a past as Abingdon, Va., is ripe for rumors of ghost sightings.
Barter Theatre adds to the ethereal atmosphere with its production of the chilling thriller “The Ghost in the Meadow,” playing through Nov. 16 at Barter Stage II.
Written by Joe Simonelli, this modern-day ghost story has been compared to the terrifying play “The Woman in Black,” which Barter produced in 2010.
When two sisters relocate from Manhattan to an old farmhouse in upstate New York, they begin to suspect that they may not be alone in their new home, whose history predates the Civil War. With the help of an old boyfriend and an experienced psychic, the women embark on a dangerous and extraordinary journey.
What does the mysterious, and seemingly malevolent, spirit want? Will they have to give up their new home? What happens when the spirit makes itself known? Is this a ghost or something more evil? Are their lives in danger?
Richard Rose, Barter’s producing artistic director, directs the spine-tingling tale, which features Tricia Matthews and Wendy Piper as the sisters, Nicholas Piper as the ex-boyfriend and Mary Lucy Bivins as the psychic.
“The difficulty with the paranormal world is trying to figure out the relationship and how to communicate with them,” Rose said. “They are almost always cloaked in mystery and, thus, immediately frightening. Just like relationships with real people you do not know, many times the initial instinct is to distrust and fear them because you do not know their intentions.
“That’s why we are so obsessed with the paranormal; there are more questions than answers.”
In conjunction with “The Ghost in the Meadow,” Barter has assembled a “Haunting Tour” package for groups of seven or more during the month of October. For $35 per person, patrons will get to see the show plus take a haunted walking tour of Abingdon, led by either the Haint Mistress herself (acclaimed storyteller Donnamarie Emmert) or her Haint Mistress-in-training (Callie Heitela). The spirit tour includes tales from the Martha Washington Hotel, Barter Theatre and the Tavern restaurant.
For reservations or more information, call (276) 628-3991 or visit www.bartertheatre.com. To book the Haunting Tour package, call group sales at (276) 619-5406.